Lester, Middlebrooks lead Red Sox past Tigers in possible playoff preview

BOSTON — With two first place teams facing off in September, like Monday’s game, it had a playoff-like atmosphere, especially with two top starters going head-to-head. In playoff games, taking advantage of opportunities becomes more important than ever, which is just what the Red Sox did in their 2-1 win over the Tigers Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

“That was a lot of fun tonight,” Red Sox catcher David Ross said. “You know, one the crowd and playing them [Tigers] kind of made it kind of a playoff atmosphere and the crowd was really into it. There were some big hits and the guys were really into it. That atmosphere, and what the pitchers were doing, that made that game a lot of fun to call.”

After being limited to just one hit through the first four innings, the Red Sox finally got to Tigers ace and 19-game winner Max Scherzer in the fifth. Jonny Gomes singled to left, which was followed by a ground-rule double from Stephen Drew setting up second and third with one out. David Ross struck out, setting the stage for Will Middlebrooks who came through with a clutch single to center field giving the Sox a 2-1 advantage. Scherzer was as advertised as three of his five hits allowed came in the fifth inning.

Jon Lester gave the Red Sox one of his best starts of the season, going up against the best offenses in the AL, as the Tigers came into the game leading the league in runs per game. The left-hander went seven innings, allowing just one run (in the second inning), while scattering eight hits and striking out a season-high nine hitters. Brandon Workman came in to retire Miguel Cabrera to lead-off the eighth, followed by Craig Breslow who retired Price Fielder, but then allowed a single to Victor Martinez. Junichi Tazawa then came in to strikeout Omar Infante and get out of the eighth and ending the threat. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth to pick up his 17th save and continue his dominance of late as it was his sixth straight perfect outing in a save opportunity.

The teams will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) where Ryan Dempster will be opposed by Rick Porcello.

What they’ll be saying: The story of the game for the Red Sox was Lester who ever since the All-Star break has emerged as arguably the best pitcher on the staff. Over his last 10 starts he has a 2.59 ERA, lowering his season ERA to 3.88. He now has earned a quality start in each of his last six outings, with a 1.81 ERA in that stretch … Middlebrooks came through with the game-winning hit in the fifth inning, it was his seventh go-ahead RBI of the year, all of which ave plated the game’s winning run … There is no denying it was a playoff-type atmosphere and Red Sox manager John Farrell managed like it was a playoff game, using three pitchers in the eighth.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…